KING Goodwill Zwelithini has called on the residents of KwaMashu township, north of Durban, not to allow criminals into their homes.
Zwelithini's appeal comes after the township was dubbed the murder capital.
The recent crime statistics released by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa showed that the township had become a haven for criminals.
Speaking at the King Shaka commemoration ceremony in KwaDukuza at the weekend, Zwelithini said the perpetrators of crime in the area were not from there.
"Criminals come into the township to visit their friends because they know they will be safe there.
"People of KwaMashu should not invite criminals to their homes," he said.
The Zulu monarch said crime was a major concern for everyone in the country.
"The crime statistics only speak about the number of criminals arrested. But there are also concerns about those criminals out there," Zwelithini said.
In 2007, murder figures in the area were 300 and went down to 236 this year. Sexual crime rates decreased from 549 to 509 in the same period.
He urged government authorities to make use of the experience of retired cops by roping them into the force to help fight crime.
Zwelithini also paid his respects to two maidens who died while they were attending the reed dance ceremony at his palace.
Meanwhile, MEC for community safety and liaison Willies Mchunu also called for a "people's war on crime". He said the people were under siege.
Mchunu called on the municipalities to help police to fight crime.
"We must develop a database of known criminals and give it to the police."